June 2011 Archives
June 30, 2011
NEW YORK - News Corp. has sold social media website Myspace for 47 cents to 13-year-old Hunter Luby of Luttrell St., according to a source close to the buyer. The deal comes just six years after News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch acquired the site in a $580 million deal. "I don't even know what a MySpace is," Luby told reporters Wednesday afternoon. "But I think my parents used to use it, so I decided to get one for my mom for her birthday. I hope she likes it." Myspace became the most popular social networking site in the United States in 2006, based on unique monthly visitors. The site maintained its popularity until 2008 when Facebook was asked to the prom and Myspace had to stay home with its cats. Today Myspace is primarily used by Doug Weathers of Omaha, Neb. to troll for booty.
June 28, 2011
Citing concerns about being blown to bits by drunken fools, stray cats and dogs in Monroe County have fled to underground bunkers until at least July 7. The town's fish are considering their options. "Vonore likes to celebrate July 4 all week long," explained Sandy, a black cat living near Depot St. "Not all the fireworks make it into the air, if you catch my drift. Last year my friend lost a paw. That's not going to happen to me. This year we declare independence from being dead." Local police insist shooting fireworks at living creatures remains quite illegal. "Fireworks laws vary by municipality," said Vonore police spokesperson Adam Billings. "In Vonore, it is legal to buy and shoot fireworks, but not at people or animals and never while under the influence of alcohol. Did you hear that, Bill?"
June 26, 2011
A statement released today by the overseer of the cosmos indicated waves of storms that have passed through Southern states in recent months were meant to punish bankers, credit card companies and other organizations that charge interest, not homosexuals. "It's important to make these things clear before Pat Robertson starts talking about them," said the archangel Michael. "There are a lot of abominations out there. God doesn't like the eating of shrimp. He doesn't care for insects with four legs or poly/cotton fabric. And he really doesn't like usury. He mentioned that one to both Moses and Ezekiel, so you know it's legit. Knock it off already." Michael added that, while he's on the subject, God doesn't care if your football team loses the Super Bowl, and that the Almighty finds excessive use of Auto-Tune "kind of annoying."
June 24, 2011
PIGEON FORGE - To the nonmulleter, East Tennessee's Dollywood theme park may not seem like an ideal place to spot mullets. But amidst the dense thickets of Dippin Dots and funnel cakes, Jukebox Junction appears as a sanctuary for hair that is short at the front and sides, but long in the back.
Each year hundreds of mullet-watchers descend on Dollywood in hopes of spotting more than a dozen species of the once popular hairstyle.
"They're everywhere today," said one of the photographers here this week, Patrick Jackson. Fellow mullet enthusiast, Michael Yucel, nodded.
Many park patrons are in search of thrill rides or country music; these men train their lenses on unassuming hair.
"There are so many varieties, all in one place," said Yucel. "You have the classic mullet there, cascading down on the proud shoulders like an Alabama hair waterfall. You have the skullet there, which is more of a bald look in the front with hair on the back half of the cranium descending into a pony tail. Over there you see the curly plumage of the permullet."
According to mullethologists, the mullet first appeared in the 1960s. It reached the height of its popularity in the 1980s before falling out of favor in the 1990s. Many species of the mullet today are endangered, and a few have even gone extinct.
"My biggest regret is that I never got to see the frolet in the wild," said Jackson. "My children will only have photos. What kind of life is that?"
Still these two men, among many of the mulleters at Dollywood today, are happy so many mullets migrate through East Tennessee.
"It's really a privilege to get to see some of these," said Yucel. "We saw two mullhawks yesterday. And there was a granmullet earlier today, which is extremely rare. You have to be very quiet with those or you'll scare them away. It's like getting to see a snow leopard in the wild. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity."
June 23, 2011
Tragedy struck large parts of East Tennessee on Tuesday night and Wednesday when widespread power outages compelled area teenagers to engage with the world around them. The storm that struck Tuesday caused electrical service outages for more than 127,000 Knoxville Utilities Board customers at its peak. Many teens were subsequently forced to leave their bedrooms in search of entertainment, human contact and sustenance. "I forgot to charge my Kindle, so I had to read an actual book," said Joshua Nobles, a 16-year-old from Bearden. "I had forgotten about books. I don't really like them." Hannah Perry, 17, from Fountain City voiced similar concerns. "I had to talk to my parents for the first time in, like, six weeks. They are so weird. Also, I apparently have a little brother. I'm not sure when that happened. And the thought of it kind of grosses me out."
June 21, 2011
NASHVILLE - Republican senator John McCain has accused illegal immigrants of starting a series of powerful storm cells that brought tornadoes, damaging hail and winds, and flooding across much of Tennessee in April. "There is substantial evidence that some of these storms were caused by people who have crossed Tennessee's border illegally," said McCain. "The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border." The comments have been slammed by Latino civil rights campaigners and the National Weather Service as "careless and reckless." Speaking to reporters, Paul Craig, a meteorologist who covered the April storms, said: "Tornadoes form in unusually violent thunderstorms when there is sufficient instability and wind shear present in the lower atmosphere. There is little evidence to suggest these severe weather systems were caused by immigrants, illegal or otherwise. Even if several hundred people were simultaneously blowing out birthday cakes and using fans, we wouldn't see this type of activity."
June 19, 2011
CLINTON - A visitor to last week's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has finally gotten the intense odor of the event out of his car. Tyler Irby, 17, spent June 9-12 in Manchester, Tenn., where he camped with a group of friends while taking in some of his favorite musical acts. Until yesterday, the smell was still with him. "It was a sweltering combination of body odor, cigarettes, feet, wet dog, sunscreen, Big Macs and carefully marketed youth rebellion," said Irby. "It was gross, but it made me kind of nostalgic." After personally vacuuming and shampooing his 2003 Nissan Altima twice, he had the vehicle professionally detailed, which he says has dramatically decreased his urge to vomit every time he drives to work. "Next year, I'm borrowing my mom's car," he said.
June 17, 2011
KNOXVILLE - A team of 3 3/4-inch tall action figures on Thursday prevented the destruction of the Gay Street Bridge by a ruthless terrorist organization.
Known as G.I. Joe, a highly trained special mission force whose purpose is to defend human freedom against Cobra, the group exchanged red and blue laser beams with their enemies last night near downtown. Remarkably no lives were lost in the skirmish.
"Our communications officer intercepted intelligence that Cobra planned to destroy the bridge," said Conrad S. Hauser, whose code name is Duke. "Their hope was that with the Henley Bridge closed, the demolition of the Gay Street Bridge would cause chaos, and ultimately a second American Civil War. Then they would take over the world in the aftermath. I know, it doesn't make much sense, but this is Cobra. They tried to conquer the world using TV once. Yo Joe!"
According to Eels, a Cobra frogman, the foiled plot is par for the course in the group's dealings with G.I. Joe.
"We've hidden warheads in a fast food restaurant," he said. "We've tried mind control about 1,000 times. We cloned dinosaurs eight years before 'Jurassic Park' came out. Nothing works for us. Honestly, I haven't been this embarrassed since wrestler Sergeant Slaughter joined G.I. Joe and totally owned us. Cobra!"
Another Cobra soldier blamed the organization's problems on overly-specific training.
"Everybody can only do one thing," said the anonymous source. "We've got a guy who only does sabotage. There's another guy who only trains reptiles. There's another guy who only makes fruit smoothies. It's too specialized. Cobra!"
Others blame Cobra's woes on a lack of effective management.
"We have no leadership structure," said a member of Cobra's Crimson Guard. "Cobra Commander is always fighting with Destro. Serpentor and Cobra Commander can't stop bickering. I swear, sometimes I think we work for a bunch of teenage girls. Cobra!"
Nonetheless, Cobra forces promised to return to fight another day.
"No!" screamed a hooded gentleman believed to be Cobra Commander, the terrorist organization's leader. "This cannot be! You have not defeated me and never will! Cobraaa!"
June 16, 2011
A local 34-year-old Foursquare user was easily appointed the mayor of his toilet Wednesday, defeating household challenger Mary Strunk, a teacher, 60 check-ins to zero check-ins, according to official returns from the social media website. When Doug Strunk ran down the hall yesterday afternoon clutching his stomach after eating a plate of chili cheese nachos, he checked in to his bathroom more than anyone else in the past 60 days. Under current Foursquare law, Strunk will remain mayor of the toilet until someone else checks in more times than he has. "Well, I'm just proud to have this opportunity," said Strunk, who vowed to "finish what I started" in an ongoing effort to revitalize his digestive system and promote development of his body's Midtown area. Local political pundits agree Strunk is unlikely to lose his seat as mayor in the immediate future.
June 14, 2011
A South American Toco Toucan making his home at Knoxville Zoo is "getting a little sick of the Froot Loops references." The tree dwelling, neotropical bird is the only Toucan at Knoxville's zoological park, making it a frequent target of cereal-based humor. "Look, don't get me wrong," said the orange-beaked creature. "I love jokes. But I've been hearing the same ones for years. Maybe do some research, kids. How about a few allusions to Van der Valk in The Netherlands? They're a quality hotel chain and they use a toucan as a mascot, too. Let's think outside the cereal box here." The toucan added that Frosted Flakes are better anyway. Toucans subsist primarily on a diet of fruit, though they also consume insects, bird eggs and reptiles. They are believed to not be so crabby in the wild.
June 12, 2011
PARKRIDGE - Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore reportedly saved the life of a local worm late Saturday afternoon. Following a brief thunderstorm in East Knoxville, an earthworm found itself crossing busy Magnolia Avenue while dodging oncoming traffic. That's when Gore made his move. "It all happened so fast," said Kelly Geer, who witnessed the incident. "It was like we were all in slow motion. I was screaming for the worm to look out, and then Al Gore pulled up on his mountain bike. He stopped traffic with one hand and scooped up the worm with the other. He didn't miss a beat. Then just like that, he was gone." Gore said it was all in a day's work. "I saw the Gore signal in the sky and I sprang into action," said the 2000 Democratic Party nominee for presidency. "Earthworms aerate and mix soil, so they are vital to organic gardening and the health of the planet overall. I'm glad I got there in time."
June 10, 2011
MANCHESTER, TENN. - A group of Knoxville college students mistook the 10th Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival for another bout of merrymaking by fugitive embezzler and "party mom" Leslie Janous.
Janous, who appeared on Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley on charges of violating her pretrial release, fled Tennessee after being sentenced for embezzling $4 million from her employer, the West Knoxville brokerage firm Scancarbon.
In 2006, Janous, then Leslie Gibbs, threw her daughter a massive "Sweet 15" birthday celebration. The party included designer dresses, shirtless Farragut athletes hired to give partygoers "lap dances," and performances by a dance troupe and a rapper from Georgia.
Several people in attendance at the 2006 party assumed this year's Bonnaroo festival was just another elaborate party for Janous' daughter, Brittany.
"I was at her 'Super Sweet 15' party in 2006, so I just thought this was for her 20th or maybe like her 21st birthday," said Ashley Kahler, 20. "I didn't think anything could top that one. But then I saw Eminem was playing. I was like, 'Oh my God. I wish my mom would get Eminem to rap for me, even though he's really old.'"
Kayla Hawkins, 21, had a similar reaction.
"Some of my favorite bands are here. Lil Wayne and Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons are all playing. I was really shocked that Leslie didn't plan this for Brittany. I guess there is a lot of mud, which isn't like her. But I assumed it was imported mud from Germany and that they would dye it pink."
Despite the disappointment that Bonnaroo was not planned by Janous, those in attendance are glad they came.
"It sucks that she's in jail," said Tyler Adams, 21. "But this is still a really good concert."
This year's Bonnaroo kicked off on Thursday with performances by Deerhunter, Sleigh Bells and comedian Lewis Black. The annual four day music festival is organized by local production company AC Entertainment. The event takes place on a 700-acre farm in Middle Tennessee.
June 9, 2011
KNOXVILLE - Former Vols head coach Lane Kiffin will not be hired to replace former Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, sources close to the University of Tennessee say. Hamilton announced his departure from UT on June 7 and will leave the program effective June 30, leaving the university with a large hole to fill in its athletic department. Sources at UT say Kiffin was considered for the position for approximately 10 seconds before reason prevailed. "People in Knoxville really just don't like that guy," said Chancellor Jimmy Cheek. "It's kind of weird. I guess he'll be in Southern California with the Trojans for a while longer. But you have to admit, it would be kind of funny to bring him back." Cheek added that 2010 Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Basil Marceaux is also not being considered for the position.
June 7, 2011
KNOXVILLE - Potential GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin continued her "One Nation" bus tour of historic sites Monday by visiting the location of Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) famous ride through the Volunteer State. Palin, who spoke to crowds near Market Square, recalled the time Weiner rode through Knoxville on horseback to warn teenagers of the dangers of tweeting lewd photos of themselves to young women. "By ringing those bells and sending those warning shots, he rode through town and told them, 'Hey, you're not going to succeed. Keep your pit bull to yourself.'" Historians maintain that Palin has her facts mixed up. "I don't even understand this," said University of Tennessee history professor Samantha Auten. "Anthony Weiner sent photos of his crotch to a young woman in April. He has never traveled through Tennessee on a horse. Why are we having this conversation?"
June 5, 2011
A local pro-family organization has serious complaints about a tortoise mating ritual broadcast on Web cam by the Knoxville Zoo and the Knoxville News Sentinel's website. Dubbed "Al Cam," the wireless video camera was attached to the shell of Al, a 130-year-old tortoise. Al and his friend Tex were wooed by Patches and Corky, two tortoises from Zoo Atlanta who are estimated at 60-70-years-old. The meeting was broadcast for several hours on Friday, June 3. "It was disgusting," said Lisa Jasper, a mother from West Knoxville. "It was like an episode of 'Big Brother.' Some things should be private, especially red hot reptile on reptile action." Miritta Williams of Powell agreed. "Our culture is oversexualized enough. And he's way too old for those two women. I've heard it's half your age plus seven. I've never been good at math, but this seems a little 'Harold and Maude' to me." A grinning Al the tortoise declined to comment, but pointed reporters to a button attached to his shell which read, "If the shell's a rockin', don't come a knockin'."
June 3, 2011
NASHVILLE - Tennessee students who want to talk about one of the two major United States political parties will no longer be able to do so.
The State Senate approved a bill Thursday that prevents teachers in kindergarten through eighth grade from discussing the Democratic Party in instruction or prepared classroom materials. The legislation passed by a vote of 19-11 along party lines.
As written by Republican State Senator Stacey Campfield, the bill declares that "any materials made available or provided at or to a public elementary or middle school shall be limited exclusively to political parties and political ideas that Stacey Campfield finds favorable."
"Some subjects are best explained and discussed at home," said Campfield in an interview Thursday."
"It's very simple," continued Campfield. "The Democratic Party is a very complex issue. Some people are for it. Some people are against it. I think it's an issue that's best handled by the families to decide when their child is old enough, when its age appropriate and what they want to tell their children. Some people may say, 'Hey it's great.' Some may say, 'Hey, it's terrible.' I don't think that's something that a teacher is really prepared to decide. My bill is for grades K-8. After that, if they want to talk about those issues, the minds of the children are a little bit more developed on the issues. Until that point, I just don't think they're ready for it."
The State Houses of Representatives has postponed a vote on the bill until 2012, preventing the legislation from becoming law until next year at the earliest.
"Really the Democratic Party is more of a lifestyle type issue than a U.S. government type issue. You can't talk about U.S. government without talking about the Republican Party. You don't need to talk about the Democratic Party to talk about the basic science of government. What I'm also doing is saying this is one less thing teachers have to worry about. We're failing at so many issues already. This puts discussion of the Democratic Party back in the hands of parents, where it belongs."
June 2, 2011
A jury of website commenters has ruled against the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit trial for a Knoxville blogger whose son died a year ago. Katie Allison Granju filed suit Tuesday against the couple she says presented her son, Henry Louis Granju, with a dose of methadone that ultimately led to his death. The panel of adjudicators deliberated for 27 seconds before reaching its verdict. "A young man is dead, but frankly we're tired of reading about this," wrote the jury's foreman, volsociopath11. "Long before we had learned the facts of the case, we decided that this young man and his mother were terrible human beings who did not deserve their day in court, much less the cooperation of law enforcement officials. We stand by that original decision today."